Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Free At Last!

This day has finally arrived! The start to an end! Radiation is over!

After 33 consecutive days (no weekends) of radiation, I am free at last. 
Radiation is a grind. It's a daily reminder that you have cancer, or that you are battling cancer. And forget modesty. HA! You change in stall that is smaller than an airplane lavatory. You wear the oh-so-not-beautiful hospital gown, which comes in one color:faded industrial blue. Open in the back. As you leave the stall, you walk down the lovely hallway to your treatment room. 

This is what awaits you. A huge machine and a narrow table. Only George and Monica have controls for both. God bless these two angels. If not for them, the grind would have been unbearable. They greeted me with smiles, loud music, funny anecdotes, and the deepest compassion. They were always respectful and nurturing. Even on my bad days, they could bring a smile to my face. 
Once you are on the table, you get to take off half the gown! Yes, friends, you get to. 
The area that is being treated soon turns red, bumpy, itchy, burning, sore, swollen, painful, and uncomfortable. Here are a few items I have been using on a daily basis: 
No pics of the actual site of radiation. I'll spare you that. I am fortunate to heal quickly and it feels so much better today than it has in the last few weeks. The toughest part was the accumulated fatigue. Last week it felt like there was a freight train running through my head. The fuzziness is wearing off inside, just as the fuzziness is growing back on my head. Yes-my hair is coming back! WOOHOO!! It is short, and soft, and grayish. That's okay. It's hair. 

I am so grateful to the radiation team who took such great care of me!

Jennifer, Elijah, Jeanne, Elise, Dr. Coleman, and Monica

Irises they gave me on my last day of radiation

It is almost unbelievable to me that this part is over. The port is still in and I will be getting Herceptin until September. And, doctor appointments await: scans and tests and check-ins. But this part is over and I feel FREE! 

Thank you so much for your continued prayers, love, positive vibes, energy, etc. You have made a tremendous difference in my recovery. And, thank you to Abby for her inspirational project. It is so amazing to see it spreading across the world (Israel!). I am so proud of her.